Texture can infuse your art with a sense of humanity and increase the connection between your illustrated, visual stories and your audience.
Traditional painting is almost always defined by texture.
Gessoed canvas, watercolor paper, palette knife impasto, the irregularity of real brush strokes and what the painting-spirit-guide Bob Ross referred to as “happy accidents” all combine to create a finished surface texture full of humanity.
While there are many things to love about digital painting in Photoshop, the inherent plasticity isn’t one of them.
If we fail to consider the role of texture in our digital paintings, we might accidentally produce boring, stiff, over-rendered paintings that are completely devoid of humanity.
In this post, I’ve gathered some inspiring texture brush tutorials and resources that will help you integrate texture into your digital painting workflow.
Photoshop Texture Brush Tutorial By Shawna JC Tenney:
What’s awesome about Shawna’s tutorial is that she uses real paint (GASP!) to create her brush textures!
It’s a super-cool trick and I think you’ll have a ton of fun with this.
Download My Free Photo Textures!
Now that Shawna has shown you how to add textures to your brushes, you’ll need to get yourself some usable textures.
Over the past few years my wife Angie and I have been creating my own library of custom, high-res textures.
…and now I’m making them available, as a free download, for you, one set at a time.
Each set of huge, free textures has an accompanying blog post where I share tips for gathering and controlling textures in your digital painting process.
Photoshop Scatter Brush Tutorial By Me:
This is an old tutorial (I sound so timid!) but it demonstrates a completely different way to create texture brushes in Photoshop.
Creating your own brushes is a great way to find inspiration, new ideas and approaches to digital painting that you’ve never thought of before.
I created my cool stylized texture brushes to give myself ideas while I’m painting.
Download My Huge Collection Of Free Photoshop Brushes!
When you subscribe to my free email newsletter, I send you my huge collection of custom Photoshop brushes instantly!
You’ll get the stylized texture brushes I mentioned above.
Each brush set was created for a different purpose so be sure to check out each of the links above for guidance on how to use them.
Creating A “Textured Canvas” Effect By Matt Kohr:
Matt Kohr has assembled an epic collection of digital painting tutorials on his site Ctrl+Paint.
Here’s a series that shows you how to create a “textured canvas” effect in your digital paintings.
Download Matt’s block brush.
Download Matt’s diffuser brush.
Don’t Fall Into A Texture Trance!
Now don’t just go adding texture everywhere like you’re some sort of weirdo.
The Texture Monster is always on the prowl and it will devour your painting in mere seconds if you fall into a texture trance.
If you want to inject even more humanity into your digital paintings, try a custom rotation control for your Photoshop Brushes.
You might also want to see my other digital painting tutorials.